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Getting Out of An Apartment Lease

By Thomas Mitchell

If you don't already have a lease-break clause in your lease, it can be tricky trying to get out of a lease. The first and best option you have is to negotiate a lease-break agreement with your landlord. There are various negotiations you can make with him or her to convince them to let you break your lease. You could offer to give them part or all of your security deposit, or you could offer to pay rent for up to 2 months after you leave. Another possibility is that you could volunteer to find the next tenant for your landlord, and cover all the costs involved with that. Negotiating a lease-break agreement with your landlord is the best course of action because you will be able to break the lease without any bridge burning. The other options sometimes require a lawyer and may not work all the time.

If you can't negotiate a lease-break agreement with your landlord you will have to take an alternative approach. If something in your apartment is dangerous or a safety hazard, you may have a way out. Some conditions that could possibly get you out of your lease are mold, holes in your carpeting that might cause someone to trip, defective smoke detectors, loose railings on your deck or balcony, or other security concerns like broken doorknobs or locks. Even if you notice a problem like one of these, you can't be behind on your rent, and you must specify the problem in a notice-certified return receipt to wherever you pay rent. You will most likely have to give the landlord time to repair or fix the issue, and then send another notice before you can begin the legal process.

If your apartment is drastically different than the model you were shown, you may have yourself a Deceptive Trade Practices lawsuit. Although this method of lease breaking works best if you have lived in your apartment for a short time, it's can work in other situations as well. The penalties for infringing upon the Deceptive Trade Practices Act are harsh and most landlords will let you move out if they feel a lawsuit coming.

Escaping a lease can be tricky, but if you go about it the right way you can escape your lease without leaving behind ill-will or without taking it to court.

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